Torres del Paine Cascades

Patagonia / Torres del Paine National Park, Magallanes, Chile

About Torres del Paine Cascades

Hiking Distance: 21km round trip
Suggested Time: 8-10 hours

Date first visited: 2007-12-25
Date last visited: 2007-12-25

Waterfall Latitude: -50.94684
Waterfall Longitude: -72.92536

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

The Torres del Paine Cascades are mountain cascades in which I’ve dedicated this page to acknowledge their quality and quantity seen during the difficult but rewarding hike to see the namesake Torres del Paine (Towers of Paine).

Truthfully, they were my excuse to talk about the memorable hike we did to see those towers in a waterfalling context.

Sendero_Torres_del_Paine_210_12252007 - One of the impressive cascades seen along the Sendero Torres del Paine
One of the impressive cascades seen along the Sendero Torres del Paine

During our hike, we’ve counted at least four noteworthy waterfalls (including the impressive one shown in the photo at the top of this page).

We didn’t even include some of the cascades on the Río Ascensio, which the trail followed for a large part of the trek.

Three of the cascades were actually seen across the Río Ascensio authoritatively tumbling down the opposite mountain.

We’ve also included the streaking cascades feeding the glacial lagoon right at the base of the towers of Paine or Torres del Paine.

While the waterfalls were not motivating factors to do this hike, they were certainly worthwhile distractions for a very rewarding hike.

Sendero_Torres_del_Paine_045_12252007 - The Sendero Torres del Paine followed the Rio Ascensio for most of the challenging hike to the Mirador del Las Torres
The Sendero Torres del Paine followed the Rio Ascensio for most of the challenging hike to the Mirador del Las Torres

However, the 8- to 10-hour hike to Mirador de Las Torres from Hostería Las Torres was not easy as it was roughly 13 miles long round trip while undulating relentlessly in long hills.

The trail contained exposed sections dropping towards Río Ascensio as well as a knee-jarring boulder scramble at the end.

But with all the physical and mental demands of this hike, we were able to persevere and be rewarded with memories that definitely stayed with us long after the hike was over.

In addition to gorgeous panoramas and waterfalls, we also had stories to tell our friends and family.

Sendero_Torres_del_Paine_133_12252007 - The main goal of the epic hike to the Mirador de las Torres was this view over a glacial lagoon towards the three spires more famously known as the Torres del Paine
The main goal of the epic hike to the Mirador de las Torres was this view over a glacial lagoon towards the three spires more famously known as the Torres del Paine

In other words, we highly recommend this hike despite all the things that might conspire to keep you from doing it.


The Torres del Paine Cascades reside in Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonian Chile. For information or inquiries about the general area as well as current conditions, the closest authoritative source of information that I could find was at the Torres del Paine National Park website.

Sendero_Torres_del_Paine_014_12252007 - A very narrow bridge we had to cross with our rental truck to get to Hosteria Las Torres
Sendero_Torres_del_Paine_003_12252007 - Hosteria Las Torres
Sendero_Torres_del_Paine_023_12252007 - Julie on the trail just beyond Hosteria Las Torres
Sendero_Torres_del_Paine_034_12252007 - Julie on a fairly exposed part of the trail not far from the start
Sendero_Torres_del_Paine_035_12252007 - Our first look into the attractive Rio Ascensio Gorge as we hiked along the trail to get to the Mirador de las Torres
Sendero_Torres_del_Paine_045_12252007 - Skirting the gorge to get to Las Torres
Sendero_Torres_del_Paine_076_12252007 - Julie entered a more forested part of the trail
Sendero_Torres_del_Paine_088_12252007 - Impressive long cascade seen near the difficult boulder scramble
Sendero_Torres_del_Paine_077_12252007 - Another look at the same cascade along the trail near the difficult boulder scramble
Sendero_Torres_del_Paine_080_12252007 - Context of the cascade that caught our attention while hiking the long trail to the Mirador de Las Torres
Sendero_Torres_del_Paine_094_12252007 - Julie starting to enter an extensive boulder field
Sendero_Torres_del_Paine_096_12252007 - The brutal boulder scramble at the end
Sendero_Torres_del_Paine_105_12252007 - Some markings on the rocks helped us along on this challenging and steep part of the trail
Sendero_Torres_del_Paine_118_12252007 - Full context of the glacier-fed streaks beneath Las Torres del Paine
Sendero_Torres_del_Paine_150_12252007 - Streaking cascades beneath the Torres del Paine
Sendero_Torres_del_Paine_178_12252007 - The context of the Mirador de Las Torres and the people who have managed to make it all the way here
Sendero_Torres_del_Paine_180_12252007 - Julie starting to head back down with some volcanic-looking mountains and streaking cascades seen across the valley
Sendero_Torres_del_Paine_185_12252007 - Context of the long boulder scramble descent ahead of us
Sendero_Torres_del_Paine_190_12252007 - With the better lighting as it was later in the day, we took the opportunity to photograph the waterfalls we passed by on the way in
Sendero_Torres_del_Paine_192_12252007 - A streaking cascade seen across the valley. This was one of the two waterfalls in the previous photo
Sendero_Torres_del_Paine_195_12252007 - Looking back at some trail junctions and signs along the trail to the Mirador de las Torres
Sendero_Torres_del_Paine_208_12252007 - Another look at perhaps the most impressive cascade along the trail to the Mirador de las Torres
Sendero_Torres_del_Paine_214_12252007 - Looking upstream from a footbridge over a long sloping cascade tumbling over river boulders
Sendero_Torres_del_Paine_215_12252007 - Julie crossing over oen of the footbridges on the Sendero del Mirador de las Torres
Sendero_Torres_del_Paine_221_12252007 - Context of a rest house along the Sendero del Mirador de las Torres
Sendero_Torres_del_Paine_225_12252007 - Julie on the trail approaching a thin cascade nearby
Sendero_Torres_del_Paine_228_12252007 - Julie on the last bit of climbing before it was all downhill the rest of the way.  Indeed, this was not an easy trail
Sendero_Torres_del_Paine_235_12252007 - Looking ahead at the open expanse as we were finally on the last descent to the trailhead
Sendero_Torres_del_Paine_241_12252007 - Julie approaching Hosteria Las Torres and the end of our hike

We started this hike from the bustling Hostería Las Torres.

Since we don’t have a road atlas, I can’t give exact directions, but it’s well signposted and has a large car park.

I did recall having to cross a very narrow bridge where we had to fold the side mirrors while driving the spur road to the hotel.

For context, Hostería Las Torres in the general Torres del Paine area was about 274km (under 4 hours drive not counting possible border crossing delays) south and west of El Calafate, Argentina.

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Tagged with: patagonia, las torres, hosteria, hike, boulders, torres del paine, sendero, chile, waterfall

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Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of the award-winning A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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